Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Love Letter Campaign ~ My Journey With You


I write this letter to the man who stole my heart almost 23 years ago. Jim. The first night our paths crossed, I couldn't help myself to check you out! You caught me! It was that hot summer night I knew you were the man I was going to marry. From that moment on my days and nights were filled with thoughts of you. You were a young hunk, smart, spirited, full of surprises, ambitious, sensitive, motivated, educated, and had your life already planned out upon graduation from the Academy.

Our relationship continued to grow despite the distance between us during our last years of college. I’m sure there is a well-worn tire path on that road. Marrying you was one of the happiest days of my life. We were full of hopes and dreams for our future together. We accomplished 4 years of medical school, 2 residencies, 11 moves, an overseas duty station, a fury of typhoons and hurricanes, multiple secret squirrel missions, 5 combat tours and more scheduled deployments than I can count. We have raised 2 exceptionally wonderful children who have brought us so much love and laughter to our home. We've kept our sanity with our family trials and tribulations. Without winning the lotto, we have made ends meet. What do these all have in common, us, you and me, but most of all, love. We have taken these journeys together.

In 2008, an Afghanistan deployment with the 2/7, sent us on a trip down an untraveled road, one that included no directions, no map to follow. This deployment was like no other, it put up two roadblocks, TBI/PTS (D) and a broken back, bringing our life as we knew it to a screeching halt. We were unprepared for the road we were about to travel. These roadblocks tested the strength in our marriage, challenged the spirit and love in our hearts, disrupted our family values and faded our future dreams. For quite sometime we let those two buggers steer our lives. With realization and accepting those two roadblocks as just bumps in the road were we able to take back the wheel and steer. We have found new energy, a new way of thinking, a renewed spirit, and a new direction to our lives. We cannot change the past, but we can learn from it and use the experience to choose the direction of the road that stretches out ahead of us.

While we may not do or think about things the way we've done in the past, we are still doing and thinking, just in a new and different way. My love for you has not wavered, even through stormy days. We have had so many great moments and great days that the worst ones become a blur. You and I are a team. We are not traveling this road alone, we are hand in hand and taking it one turn at a time. Together, with faith, hope and love, we can ride through even the darkest storms along our journey. There isn’t anything we can’t do together babe. Where there is a will there is a way. I am proud to be your partner, your best friend, your lover, your military spouse, and I am most proud to be your wife.

I love you because you are the man I can’t take my eyes off of. I love you because you are my rock. I love you because you are wind in my sails. I love you because you are every breath that I breathe. I love you because you love me back. I love you because you’re my best friend. I love you because you’re my soul mate. I love you because you are my hero and my sailor. I love you because I can’t stop loving you.
I love you always and forever.
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY Jim!

Your wife,
Karen

This blog post is part of The Love Letter Campaign... a project started by FamilyOfaVet.com to encourage those who love a hero to write a letter sharing their story (where they started, what they've faced together, and why their love endures). It's not just for spouses, but also for parents, siblings, caregivers, and friends. It's about telling the "rest" of our stories... stories that continue despite PTSD, TBI, and the challenges of life after combat. To share your love letter or find out more about the campaign, visit http://www.familyofavet.com/love_letters.html.

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